There’s no doubt that Kiwis love our phones – for talking, texting, shopping, social media, photography and all the other weird and wonderful things we use them for.
Sadly some people still love their phone too much that they can’t put it down when they get behind the wheel.
New Zealand still has a major problem with people who either talk, text or get otherwise distracted when they’re in control of something that could easily turn into a deadly projectile.
The AA and Vodafone have launched a campaign to encourage people to ‘leave the phone alone’, and they’ve enlisted the help of YouTube star How to DAD and The Cougar Boys to get the message out there.
How to DAD is the star of a driver distraction video that explains some of the more…. Unconventional ways to keep yourself away from your phone while driving, including taping your phone to the roof, towing your phone, and using a ‘mousetrap’ contraption on the passenger seat to trap your phone.
They’re all silly ideas, but there’s a very serious message to take away. According to New Zealand studies, 3% of drivers on the road at any time will be using their phone in some way.
“We have far, far too many drivers using their phone behind the wheel and it is killing and injuring people,” says AA road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.
“People know it is against the law, but the problem is they do not see it as risky.”
Tech-related driver distraction is now a huge safety risk.
“Every year we have people losing children, partners, family and friends because a driver was on their phone. That is heartbreaking and the power to change it is literally in people’s own hand,” says Thomsen.
How to DAD’s video explains that exact point:
“Utilise the simple ‘do not disturb while driving’ button on your phone,” the video says. “Do not disturb. It’s simple, smart, safe, and best of all you won’t crash and die. Or crash into others and kill them. Or end up crashing and killing your family.”
Thomsen adds that enforcing the law will never work on its own.
“We need drivers to think more about the choices they make around using phones when they are on the road. The AA hopes the How to DAD and Cougar Boys videos will convince any driver who does sometimes use their phone to make the choice to leave the phone alone.”
“It is such a simple ask - leave the phone alone when you’re driving, and switch the Do not disturb while driving function on - the AA is right behind this campaign to get more Kiwis making that choice.”
Watch How to DAD’s ‘How to text and drive’ video below.